Art Notes: Georgia O’Keeffe

Starlight Night, Lake George, 1922.

Starlight Night, Lake George, 1922.

 

The S. F. Chronicle gave the deYoung show, Modern Nature:Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George a so, so review calling it a “pleasing but hardly stirring exhibition.”

I went last week, almost thinking that I had probably seen most of the paintings and would just be revisiting them.  The banners posted around the city reminding us of the show – Petunias, 1925 – indicated as much.  I was wrong.  It’s a thoughtful, delightfully mesmerizing show filled with paintings I had never seen and some wonderful photographs by Alfred Stieglitz whose family owned the property and who O’Keeffe married in 1924.

I also recommend seeing it in concert with  Shaping Abstraction show on the first floor because it demonstrates how early O’Keeffe – was playing with abstraction.

Like Paul Cézanne’s late 19th Century studies of  Mont Sainte-Victoire in southern France, O’Keeffe looked hard at the trees, flowers and  landscape of Lake George. O’Keeffe  either visited or lived for part of the year there between 1919 and 1934.  On those visits, she  walked, painted and saw what others had never seen.

The show closes in mid-May, and I would definitely get there before it does.

 

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